Sandhan valley is one of the greatest canyons located in the Sahyadri mountain range in Nasik region of Maharashtra state. It offers a great combination of a water carved valley and a canyon which makes trekking through this stretch a truly unique and thrilling experience. The unique topography and mesmerizing natural beauty of the Sandhan Valley make it a dream destination for every trekker.
The base camp for the trek is located in a small quaint village called near Samrad, which is situated quite close to the Sandhan Valley. Both the valley and the village are surrounded by tall mountains including bu Alang, Madan ad Kulang, besides which the mountain ranges of Ratangad, Ajoba and Kalsubai are also present in this region.
The valley itself is 200 feet deep and with sturdy rock walls bordering both sides of the trekking stretch. It often surprises trekkers that while the valley is no more than 3 feet wide at some points, at other places the sun rays can barely reach the ground. This further enhances the thrill of trekking and camping in the valley making it a once in a lifetime experience.
The Sandhan Valley is also popular by name of the Valley of Shadows, which is reference to the fact that the various natural aspects seem to be playing hide and seek as the sun rays try to pierce through the rocks. At the end of the valley the trekkers get a pleasant surprise as they encounter the magnificent view of high cliffs and deep valleys.
The Sandhan Valley trek is classified to have difficulty level of medium to high. It takes around 5 to 6 hours to complete the entire trek which also includes rappelling across a waterfall and a pool of water. This is definitely the most enthralling aspect of the entire trek as the joy of gradually sliding down the waterfall is totally unparalleled and makes the trekkers feel truly awesome.
Apart from the rappelling, the valley is often filled with enough water that makes it necessary for the participants to wade through it. It is advisable for the trekkers to carry water proof backpacks so that the items of their personal use are not soaked or damaged by becoming drenched in water. At such times, the trekkers need to be extra cautious as they can easily slip over the rocks beneath their feet, which can cause serious injury.
To ensure a safe trek to Sandhan Valley, it is advisable to take along an experienced guide as well the proper trekking and rappelling equipment. The local villagers at Samrad often work as guides and they even offer the equipment for rappelling, trekking and even camping on rent. The villagers can provide food on request, even though overnight campers should opt to enjoy the rustic food that nature has to offer in abundance within the valley.
To enjoy the trek completely, it is advisable for the participant to plan it over two days. This gives them enough time to not only trek across this magnificent valley, but also enjoy other activities such as rock climbing, sliding and wading through water. First time trekkers should avoid Sandhan Valley Full descent trek as it can prove extremely tiring and exhausting for them. Moreover, the trekkers should also carry items such as blankets, toiletries, a closed pair of shoes, cap, extra clothes, any specific medicines and a torch.
Although the trek is open all through the year, the best time to enjoy the same is from November to May. During the remaining months, undertaking trekking in the valley can prove dangerous as it tends to be flooded by the monsoon rain water, which makes it navigating through the valley extremely difficult and increases the risk of injury and other health hazards.
In addition to the Sandhan Valley trek, participants can also enjoy the Sanadhan Valley to Karoli Ghat Trek. In addition, they can also choose to visit the Amruteshwar temple located in Ratnagiri, which is not far from Sandhan Valley. Other places of interest that the trekkers might love to visit during their stay in the region include Bhandardara Dam, Bhandardara backwater near Samrad village, Ghatnadevi temple and Randha waterfall.
Exact Location: Samrad village, Bhandardara, District Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.
Nearest Town: Samrad
Distance from Mumbai : Via Igatpuri & Bhavali -181 km, Via Ghoti – 199 km
Trek Length: 2 Days
Best Time to Visit: November to May